In Vitro fertilisation (IVF)

IVF is In Vitro(Outside) Fertilisation. Eggs are removed from the ovaries and fertilised with sperm in the laboratory. The fertilised egg (embryo) is later placed in the woman’s womb.


Why IVF for me? IVF as your best treatment option if:

  • you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility
  • your tubes are blocked
  • you have been unsuccessful with intra uterine insemination (IUI)
  • there is a low sperm count

How does IVF work? Steps as follows….

For women:

Step 1. Suppressing the natural monthly hormone cycle As a first step of the IVF process you may be given a drug to suppress your natural cycle. Treatment is given either as a daily injection. This continues for about two weeks.

Step 2. Increasing the egg fertility hormone called FSH. This is usually taken as a daily injection for around 12 days. This hormone will increase the number of eggs you produce .With more fertilised eggs, the clinic has a greater choice of embryos to use in your treatment.

Step 3. Progress with scan throughout the drug treatment, the clinic will monitor your progress. This is done by vaginal ultrasound scans and, possibly, blood tests. 34–38 hours before your eggs are due to be collected you have a hormone injection to help your eggs mature.

Step 4. Egg collection the IVF process eggs are usually collected by ultrasound guidance under sedation. This involves a needle being inserted into the scanning probe and into each ovary. The eggs are, in turn, collected through the needle.

Step 5. Creating Embryos Your eggs are mixed with your husband’s or the donor’s sperm and cultured in the laboratory. They are then checked to see if any have fertilised. Those that have been fertilised (now called embryos) are grown in the laboratory incubator for 2 – 5 days before being retransferred. The best one, two or exceptionally three embryos will then be chosen for transfer.

Step 6. Embryo transfer For women under the age of 40, one or two embryos can be transferred. If you are 40, or over, a maximum of three can be used.The number of embryos is restricted because of the risks associated with multiple births. Remaining embryos may be frozen for future IVF attempts, if they are suitable.

For Men:

Step 1. Collecting sperm around the time your wife’s eggs are collected, you are asked to produce a fresh sample of sperm. This is stored for a short time before the sperm are washed and spun at a high speed. This is so the healthiest and most active sperm can be selected. If you are using donated sperm, it is removed from frozen storage, thawed and prepared in the same way.